The last few months, I have been feeling a bit nostalgic. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, or maybe it’s the turning of seasons that always makes me a little reflective about the consistent and unending passing of time. Whatever the case, this bout of nostalgia has me indulging in a lot of throwbacks to my youth, not limited to popping in a good Cranberries album and rummaging through my childhood recipe box where, over the years, I have lovingly stored all of my favorites, including many family treasures, passed down from generation to generation. Something about holding an old recipe in my hands, covered with the script handwriting of a loved one, makes me feel instantly connected to a time when life felt a little simpler, a little less complicated, when my days were filled with school plays, and passing notes, and coming home to a house filled with the mouthwatering smells of something freshly baked and homemade.
To me, there is nothing quite like the smell of banana bread baking. The delicious scent fills me immediately with warmth and comfort. One bite and I am transported back to my mother’s kitchen where she had just finished baking 4 loaves from my Auntie Nonie’s famous banana bread recipe.
For my recipe, I decided to do a little riff on my auntie’s recipe. Instead of using refined sugar and brown sugar, I replaced the sugars with about half the amount of real Organic Maple Syrup. My auntie’s recipe is also made with sour cream, which I replaced with Greek yogurt to add an additional protein punch, while also making this bread a little easier on dairy-sensitive tummies. I also replaced some of the flour with steel cut oats for added fiber and heart health benefits as well as substituting coconut oil in place of butter or margarine. I keep Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats and Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil on monthly autoship in Amazon because we go through so much of both products in our house.
So, about bananas, it’s important to note that the majority of the flavor and sweetness of this bread comes from using very, very over-ripe bananas. I mean, really brown, way-beyond-the-point-of-eating bananas. The beautiful thing about bananas is that the riper they are, the more developed the banana flavor will be and the sweeter they are. Using super ripe bananas is what allows me to cut back on the added sugar and not compromise any of the delicious and lightly sweet flavor of this bread. And, not to toot my own horn here, but this bread is killer! And, the bonus is that, because of all the wholesome ingredients, I don’t feel even slightly bad about indulging in a slice or five (and sharing a few with my family, I guess). Enjoy!